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    Hollister, CA
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    Freefall Photography
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  1. crapflinger2000

    Airworthy C9 Canopy

    Sorry, what is a "half stow diaper"? Is that the type where you only lock it shut with half the line groups and the rest of the lines go in the pack tray? If so, when I was rigging I always tore my hair out trying to make sure that there was a tiny bit of slack in the line group that locked the diaper, to ensure that it only tensioned at the very last moment to prevent premature diaper release while the lines were playing out of the pack tray. The amount of slack was minimal to the point it probably would have accomplished nothing but I felt better about it. Was that a useless effort on my part?
  2. crapflinger2000

    Pitching in a Track

    Depends entirely on the canopy. I had an old Stilleto 120 that "never hurt nobody". No matter what, it opened wonderfully and on-heading. When I was doing RW with it my MO was always "track like a mother and dump." Now, was I technically dumping while in a track body position? No. But I was so fast on the hackey that I definitely retained most of my fwd speed. I learned not to do that on my Velocity 90... still sniveled like crazy but much more sensitive to heading performance, so I always took a moment to square up a bit.
  3. crapflinger2000

    Soft v hard links - interesting pic .....

    Changing to soft links because of this is like deciding to only drive Fords from now on because Jiffy Lube screwed up and sent your Toyota out of the shop without any oil in it.
  4. crapflinger2000

    New rigger

    Not really suggestions but a couple thoughts. 1) Learn to say NO. When I first got my ticket I thought I was supposed to know how to do everything and service every customer's want, no matter how stupid. I in turn did some very stupid sh*t. 2) You are in a golden age of rigging information availability. What I would have given to have this forum available to me when I had "is the bad/ok" decisions to make. Make use of it.
  5. crapflinger2000

    Heavy DSLRs on your helmet?

    Sorry did not mean to imply that the other helmets at the time (we are talking very early 2000s here) had NO capability for getting out of it, just that it would take some extra doing potentially. One in particular had a latch where if you "popped" it, it only loosened it; in order to really free it you had to do an additional push-pull move to undo the chin thingy. I think in theory you could probably get it off your head even when just loosened, but everyone who tried it on the ground was loosing skin trying it, or at least saying "ouch ouch ouch!", so it did not seem overly easy to actually get out of quickly. Hopefully today's high speed stuff is better.
  6. crapflinger2000

    Heavy DSLRs on your helmet?

    When I jumped video I got a ration of sh*t from other video folks for continuing to jump a crappy old ProTec video helmet. Was it marginally more snaggy than the high-speed $250 helmets they were jumping? Yeah. I taped the crap out of it to try to minimize. But I had ditched the neck strap and only relied on the externally snapped chin-cup type strap, and could ditch the whole mess with either hand in milliseconds, which was way more than could be said for some of the set-ups in vogue at the time. Were I to get back into it I would jump the same ghetto set-up, even if I was just jumping a go-pro. Was it conceivable that I could lose my whole set up on accident if something came unsnapped? Sure (but never did in a couple thousand camera jumps). I was happy to live with that risk if it meant I could pretty much instantly be rid of the whole affair if there was some entanglement.
  7. crapflinger2000

    Back/Chest/Lap/Seat - Why?

    Funny, I think my supervised pack jobs were about a 75%/25% mix of sport rigs and bailouts. So while never tested on rounds I did know how to pack them. Like all new riggers I was nervous until I felt things I had packed had been tested "in anger". So there came a time where I packed a round into a racer, neither category of which my pack jobs had ever been used before. The very next day after packing it, it got deployed, and I had a triumphant "two birds with one stone" feeling. A bit more confidence that I knew wtf I was doing ensued.
  8. crapflinger2000

    Back/Chest/Lap/Seat - Why?

    I am years out of the rigging game but always wondered why I was able to pack a bailout back rig but could not pack a seat rig. Of course I understand the administrative "why?" [Cuz you are not seat rated, dufus]. But practically speaking I perceived that there is no special secret "seat" (or "chest") sauce conferred upon someone when they get that rating. If you can get a manual for the container, pack to those instructions, everything would work just fine regardless of what type of container you did your 20 repacks on. That is, unless when you get your seat rating they induct you into the secret society of seat rig packers where they tell you "Now you can be told that when packing a Seat rig you must induce a 1/2 twist in the lines each time you make a stow, while reciting the mantra "ubba dubba dee", for otherwise the rig shall surely malfunction. It has been an unspoken rule that this crucial detail shall be withheld from all manuals since the dawn of time, so help me god". All kidding aside, for those with multiple ratings, ARE there actual unwritten "things" you need to know to pack some other container than "back"? Old loft had an old chest container. Pulled it out, found some instructions, packed it, seemed straightfwd. Unpacked it for just in case reasons and tossed it back in the closet.
  9. crapflinger2000

    Diving exits: toward the tail or nose?

    I would submit that in general anything you can by floating the exit can be done with your head pointed at the ground (and vice versa). The main thing is that your tum-tum is facing the prop blast; which direction your head is pointed makes no difference. I would guess perhaps what he was talking about is executing a brief hard "flare" against the relative wind to kill off some fwd momentum. I believe I saw something about this in one of the "how to skydive" books I bought long ago. I think the passage indicated that someone who does this big flare to kill off fwd momentum gains some advantage over someone who just dives out head first and starts diving on the formation (that person will seem to be poised to get there fast but in reality he's still carrying momentum (fwd vector from plane) while he is diving). To my first point, I would say that you can execute this big flare head up or head down. And I'd rather do it head down and not lose time in transitioning to a diving position. Also who knows maybe this person was REALLY good at backsliding down the hill to the formation or something. As far as diving out, for the longest time my problem was not flipping over but rather doing an "auto-turn" on the hill after exit to where I was looking at the plane. Very frustrating. Finally clued in that I was leaving my feet up on my butt for too long and losing some directional control. I guess just some "me" peculiarity. Learned to just briefly pop my feet up on butt just long enough to clear the prop blast and then stick 'em back out and start diving.
  10. crapflinger2000

    Heavy DSLRs on your helmet?

    As other people have pointed out, you pick a canopy to suit what you are doing. Have thousands of camera jumps with a SLR (not DSLR but old enough to make the weights comparable). Plus a digital TRV17. Never an issue with my St 120 (and then Velocity) that I was jumping. As is normal you do get the unexplained slammer once in awhile, no broken necks that I am aware of. I did take a break from video until my neck recovered from a BASE slammer. When I re-started it was not quite fully back to normal but close enough. To be clear I did not do this with a "oh well WTF hope I don't break my neck" attitude. You should do whatever you can to mitigate the risk even with a slower opening canopy. If you can't pack your canopy to consistently open nicely when it comes out of the bag, learn to pack. If someone doesn't understand that the main thing that will hurt them is inadequate line stow tension and they pack microline in single stow large rubber bands, that's on them. Also, what you do with your head during opening plays a role. I never looked up at the opening, just kept head still looking at horizon, until / unless it was taking an inordinate amount of time open and I decided I had to see wtf was going on. Also at times when I had to borrow a rig with someone's Sabre 150 in it to make a load, I might toss the PC and then bring both arms in to brace against my chin, elbows down, for just in case purposes. You are in "solution in search of a problem" territory here.
  11. crapflinger2000

    Single or Double Stow the Locking Stows?

    Double stow everything. If you have enough rubber band slack to double stow, do it and you'll be fine (in other words, if you simply can't do a double physically because there is not enough slack, you're probably fine to single stow but with a healthy bite of line (2"). Use the small bands for microline and the larger ones for Dacron. Don't use large bands for microline. I jumped HP canopies for years, small bands, all double stowed. Never had a problem. Would rather have bag lock than line dump. And you won't have a bag lock anyway with a properly functioning PC... the rubber band SHOULD break (there are no absolutes however which is why I recommend 2" stows). Don't use tube stows. They might not break (although I did double stow everything with tube stows for awhile as well... the only reason I switched back to small bands was they are cheap and I liked how they gripped the lines more than tube stows). If you are thinking along the lines of "well I should single stow cuz what if my PC doesn't work so great" then you are being lax in your gear maintenance IMO. Also IMO if people are telling you to not double stow anything cuz of bag lock possibility, I would submit that they don't appreciate what its like to come to the end of line slack with a partially opened canopy (it SUCKS). Now having read my post over I need to point out that there will always be exceptions to things. For example, if you are stuffing a canopy into your bag that is too small (or just suck at bagging canopies) then its entirely possible that a single stow might have enough tension on it to be ok (since the stows will be tight since they are the only thing holding the whole mess together).
  12. crapflinger2000

    Expired Cypres

    So did you blow up your house 8 years ago trying to chop through a screwdriver based on my advice?
  13. crapflinger2000

    Expired Cypres

    What you have here is an opportunity to see what the cutter will cut through. Thats what I did with mine when it turned into a pumpkin. You could go 2 ways, see what the strongest thing it will cut through is (mine chopped a wire coat hanger with ease) or what it will do with something flimsy but not under tension (like a cypres closing loop). I vote you see if it will chop though whatever screw driver you have lying around that will fit in the cutter. Disclaimer: The above assumes you are not an idiot and understand things like: - doing this might make the cutter rupture/explode catastrophically - even in normal circumstances you are triggering a small enclosed explosive charge so you MUST take precautions (like do it outside, something solid between you and the cutter, nothing you care about in proximity of the cutter (like windows, pets, children, flammable materials, etc)). Hint: If you are wondering "how do I make it go off" or "can I do this on my apartment balcony" or "is putting it under a cardboard box sufficient protection" you probably should not try this.
  14. crapflinger2000

    Am I being selfish

    That question is one only YOU can answer for yourself. Plenty of posts already made about other potential downsides beside death. I would not agree that this sport is "intrinsically safe" (you are jumping out of a bloody airplane and depending on a multitude of fallible humans at all times; the people who made your gear, assembled it, packed it, the pilots & the mechanics of the jumpship and all the planes around you at the GA airport you will likely be operating at [you are going to be taking off / flying in planes a lot more than the average Joe], other skydivers, and above all yourself). You can mitigate all these risks to a certain extent (find a rigger you trust, understand your gear, picks DZs without a rep for shady maintenance, pick who you jump with, etc) but again, you are jumping out of a bloody plane. If I had the $ I guess I might still be skydiving except for one thing; if all goes to sh*t and I know I am gonna go in, I don't want my last few seconds on earth to be filled with thoughts of "well, I am leaving my son fatherless because I wanted to participate in this sport". So clearly in my mind I think I would be selfish. Someone could probably psychoanalyze that fear of mine and pick it apart and find some "other real issues" at play there, more than not wanting my son to be sad. Then again I've been to a few memorial services and seen the affect on family members left behind. Its basically up to you. When I was single I was into it full force. Now my own personal math tells me NO. Plenty of parents still into it and they are fine with it all and that's great. Just not my personal cup of tea anymore.
  15. crapflinger2000

    The four times you might quit skydiving

    I would be in Cat 4. Got about 3-4000 jumps, mainly tdm camera, started getting into smaller canopies but just... got bored. My skills plateaued in pretty much every aspect, I didn't feel like starting over again being a spud in the free-fly realm, and I just felt like it would never click for me in terms of becoming a super-duper canopy swooper (not that I put too much effort there, I was purely recreational, but the canopy ride quickly became the funnest part of jumping for me)... the drive out to the DZ and back was a drag and when I realized I was just going out there to fill some time on the weekend, it dawned on me that it was time to quit. It really sucked when I made that decision as it was something I NEVER thought would happen to me. Felt like I was giving up on myself in a way. I miss the folks I met and obviously still feel somewhat connected to the sport (since I am perusing the board on a daily basis and posting once in a blue moon), but feel essentially zero compulsion to do another jump ever, and don't regret quitting one iota nowadays (probably cuz I have a 5 year old and he is my priority on the weekends). My .02